The COVID-19 Pandemic is a financial challenge for all ISKCON temples. With their main sources of income such as book distribution, Harinama Sankirtan, in person hundi box donations, preaching programs and more either decreased or halted, many are struggling to make ends meet.
ISKCON’s South American temples, however, have been among the hardest hit. While centers in some Latin American countries are managing to cover their minimum expenses locally, ISKCON Latin America’s Governing Body has launched a campaign to raise funds to support those temples that have been seriously affected by financial hardships.
“These financial struggles are due to the quarantine and restrictions that governments have imposed for over a month now, because of the COVID-19 situation,” says Zonal Supervisor Mathuresh Das.
“Most countries in Latin America are amongst the poorest in the world. Many of our temples are rented properties in countries with unstable economies. We understand that the crisis is affecting everyone, but in many of these countries it could mean loosing our presence there and not having an adequate place for the Deities to be worshipped.”
Gaura Nitai at ISKCON El Salvador
To save money, temples in South America have simplified their deity worship according to the ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry COVID-19 guidelines.
Devotees and leaders are contributing as much as they can financially, while in some cases prasadam is being sold to collect funds.
Several temples, however, are very short of money and are in urgent need of support to help pay their expenses, such as rent, utility bills, taxes, deity maintenance and devotee maintenance. These include the ISKCON temples in Chosica and San Borja, Peru; Guyaquil, Giridharidesh Farm and New Mayapur Farm in Ecuador; and temples in El Salvador, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Argentina.
“We humbly request that devotees around the world kindly contribute towards covering the accumulating operational expenses for our most vulnerable temples in Latin America,” Mathuresh Das says.
The Executive Committee of the Latin American Regional Governing BODY (LARGB) will be responsible for managing donations and distributing to each temple in need.
New Mayapur, Ecuador
“At this critical juncture, your donation will go a long way towards keeping alive the mission of Srila Prabhupada in the most affected countries of Latin America,” says Mathuresh.
All donations, whether big or small, are deeply appreciated. Please use the following methods: (send your confirmation to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paypal: (US based)
Wire Transfer to:
BANK OF AMERICA
Account number: 898032387084
Name on account: Marcelo Sandi Ovando
555 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94104
We thank you in anticipation for your donation.
Your grateful servants,
Mathuresh dasa (Chairman)
Divya Priyah dd (Vice-Chairman)
Paramatma dasa (Secretary)